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Tensions in Timika lead to Innocent Deaths

West Papuan People's Representative Office
PO Box 1571, Port Vila,
Republic of Vanuatu

2 September 2003

Four days ago, tension occurred between pro and anti division of provinces in Timika, resulting in three deaths and more than 37 wounded. An angry mob of anti-division destroyed properties of the local government. Indonesia used the Andreas Hanggaibak group to divide Amungme people who advocated strongly for an independent West Papua.

" These events were orchestrated by Indonesian Intelligent Service (BAKIN), using innocent people to achieve its military ambition. The policy of the division will never bring stability and security in the territory, rather encourage more violence. If Jakarta has been serious with Special Autonomy, these unnecessary killings could be avoided. We urge Jakarta to withdraw immediately its policy and implement the Special Autonomy accordingly in the line with the aspiration of the West Papuans " said Dr.John Otto Ondawame, International Spokesperson of the OPM, and Representative of the West Papua People’s Representative Office in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Yesterday, another ethnic tension occurred between the Papuans and non-Papuans in the same city, killing two immigrants, and another nine were seriously injured. The victims were suspected to be agents of Indonesian Intelligent Service (BAKIN) and pro-division. 500 Muslims marched angrily on the street of Timika yesterday. There are a hundred of Brimob from Sulawesi in Timika and an extra 100 are to be brought in from Jayapura. New wave of ethnic and religious violence may occur in West Papua in the absence of direct intervention of international community.

"The situation is serious alarming. New escalation of religious and ethnic violence is likely occurred. We do not want the same history of the escalation of the ethnic and religious conflict in Molluccas two years ago or East Timor in the post-referendum will repeat again in West Papua. The danger is the military could use this situation to stir up conflict between the immigrants and the Papuans or between those pro and anti division of the province. We urge Mr. Downer, Foreign Minister of Australia, and Mr. Phil Goff, Foreign Minister of New Zealand to intervene, sending fact–finding mission West Papua to monitor the situation and call Jakarta to restore law and order in the immediate region" said Ondawame.

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